Ace Your Corporate General Manager Interview: The Top 30 Questions and How to Answer Them

When companies hire general managers, they want to see that the person has the leadership and problem-solving skills to make the company successful.

This article will go over some common general manager interview questions you should be ready for, along with some great examples of how to answer them.

Landing a job as a corporate general manager means you’re ready to take on a leadership role steering an organization towards achieving its strategic goals. It’s a coveted position that requires exceptional business acumen leadership abilities and decision-making skills. That’s why acing your interview is critical to show you have what it takes to thrive in this high-stakes role.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 30 corporate general manager interview questions you’re likely to face. You’ll discover insights into what hiring managers want to hear in your responses along with sample answers to help you craft winning replies.

Whether you’re prepping for your first GM interview or are a seasoned professional these tips will boost your confidence and get you ready to impress the interview panel. Let’s dive in!

Why Do You Want to Be a General Manager?

This common opening question aims to understand your motivations and passion for pursing a GM role. It establishes why you want this responsibility and if you’re truly committed to the demands of the job.

Strong sample response:

“I’m deeply passionate about leading teams and organizations to new heights of success. I’m very motivated by the chance to make strategic decisions that affect the future of a company while also leading employees. This job gives me the chance to use all of my business knowledge and leadership skills to move an organization forward. As much as I enjoy the challenges and complexity of this job, I’m also excited about the chance to make a big difference. “.

Describe a Time You Coached an Employee to Improve

Here, interviewers want proof of your management abilities, especially mentoring underperforming employees. Your answer must demonstrate patience, strong communication skills, and a commitment to employee development.

Winning sample answer:

“In my last role, I had an employee who was struggling with meeting deadlines. I scheduled one-on-one meetings to understand why they were falling behind. By listening empathetically, I learned they were struggling with prioritizing tasks. We worked together to create a system to categorize tasks based on urgency and importance. I also adjusted their workload and connected them with a mentor for extra support. Through regular check-ins over the next months, their performance and time management skills steadily improved.”

What Is Your Leadership Style?

This question reveals your approach to managing teams. Interviewers want to know if your style fits with the needs and culture of the company. Tailor your answer to the company’s preferences.

Strong response example:

“My leadership style is collaborative. I engage staff in decision-making through open communication channels. Team brainstorming sessions help foster innovation while regular progress meetings ensure alignment. However, I can make quick executive decisions when required and take responsibility for the team’s outcomes. Ultimately, I aim to lead by example, create a supportive environment for my team to excel, and encourage professional growth.”

Why Are You Interested in Our Company?

It’s important to show that you know about the company and are excited about their goals and values. This displays strong interest in the role.

Good response sample:

“I’m deeply impressed by your company’s rapid growth over the past few years. But beyond the numbers, your commitment to sustainable practices and fostering an inclusive work culture resonates with me. I would be proud to join a forward-thinking organization making such an outstanding impact, while empowering employees. With my background in strategic planning and passion for your mission, I’m confident I can help drive even greater success.”

Tell Us About a Time You Successfully Completed a Work Project

Proof of delivering successful projects is a must for any GM candidate. Share an example that highlights strengths like leadership, strategic planning, and stakeholder management.

Solid sample answer:

“As Operations Manager, I led a project to open our company’s first international office. I assembled a cross-functional team and developed a detailed project plan covering budgets, hiring, IT infrastructure, and regulatory issues. Through regular communication and progress tracking, we completed the project two weeks ahead of schedule. The Singapore office is now one of our top performers globally. This showcased my abilities in strategic planning, budget management, and leadership.”

How Do You Make Important Decisions That Impact the Whole Company?

General managers must make big calls that influence the company’s direction. Interviewers want to know your decision-making process and ability to analyze risks versus rewards.

Strong response example:

“I gather as much data as possible to make informed decisions, from financial reports to market trends. Stakeholder input is critical too, so I consult my team and leadership to get diverse perspectives. Using this information, I analyze all potential risks and outcomes before deciding. However, I can make quick executive calls in high-pressure situations by focusing on the company’s strategic goals. No matter what, I take full ownership of the outcomes once a decision is made.”

How Would You Improve Sales and Revenue Growth in Our Company?

This question gauges your commercial awareness and strategic thinking. Be ready to share ideas tailored to the company’s products, services, and target markets.

Winning sample response:

“After reviewing your current sales and products, I see room to boost revenue growth by targeting the expanding healthcare sector. As this industry continues growing, tailored products and promotions could draw in major new accounts. I would also suggest expanding your online sales channels and optimizing the website for eCommerce. With my background in digital marketing, I’m confident I could develop data-driven eCommerce strategies to complement your sales team’s efforts.”

What Are Your Greatest Strengths as a General Manager?

This is your chance to highlight your most relevant hard and soft skills. Back up strengths with real examples.

Good answer sample:

“I have a strong commercial acumen – I increased profits by 30% in my last role through data-driven strategies. I’m also an excellent communicator able to connect with diverse staff and stakeholders. But one of my greatest strengths is managing change. I can swiftly assess the impacts of internal or external changes and pivot strategies while supporting team morale. This adaptability enables me to consistently steer companies through challenges and remain competitive within dynamic environments.”

How Do You Handle Conflicts Between Departments or Team Members?

The interviewer wants to know your conflict management style. Showcase your leadership, communication, and problem-solving abilities.

Solid sample response:

“My approach is to immediately speak with both parties, either separately or together, to understand their perspectives. Finding the root cause is essential, whether it’s miscommunication or differing goals. I facilitate open and empathetic discussions to resolve the issue professionally, focusing on solutions. While parties may not agree, the aim is to foster mutual understanding and restore a productive working dynamic. This collaborative approach has helped my teams overcome conflicts constructively.”

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Professionally?

Show you’re committed to progressing long-term with the company in a GM or leadership capacity. Highlight how you hope to grow the role strategically over time.

Good answer example:

“In the next 5 years, my aim is to continue progressing as a general manager within your organization. With my robust understanding of your company and industry, I hope to eventually oversee multiple business units and teams across different locations. I plan to continue developing my commercial acumen and leadership skills through ongoing executive education. Ultimately, I’m committed to growing with your company and helping expand your market share globally over the next 5-10 years.”

How Do You Handle Projects that are Behind Schedule?

Here, interviewers want to know your problem-solving approach and ability to get projects back on track quickly. Showcase your composure and focus on solutions.

Strong response sample:

“First, I meet with the project team to discuss the issues they are facing and identify the root cause of the delays, whether it’s inadequate resources or unclear objectives. I re-evaluate the project plan and timeline to determine the priority tasks for getting back on schedule. Clear communication ensures everyone understands the new timelines and expectations. I provide extra support where needed while closely monitoring progress daily. This focus on open collaboration and targeted solutions enables me to successfully get derailed projects back on track.”

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Research typical GM salaries in your industry and location, then give a range slightly above the median. You can negotiate specifics later if offered the job.

Sample response:

“Based on my experience and research for comparable GM roles in this industry, I’m targeting a salary in the range of $120,000 to $135,000 annually. However, I’m flexible on specifics and remain open to discussing compensation packages that align to the value I can bring to your organization.”

How Do You Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated?

This reveals your people management skills. Show you foster supportive, inspiring work environments where people enjoy coming to work.

Good answer example:

“I create an engaging work culture by encouraging open communication, connecting team efforts to our broader mission, and leading collaboratively. I also support employee growth through mentorships, training programs, and opportunities to take on new challenges. Things like team lunches, employee recognition programs, and celebrating wins keep spirits high. Ensuring people feel valued intrinsically, while providing extrinsic rewards like bonuses for major achievements, drives retention and motivation.”

What Strategies Do You Use to Meet Sales and Revenue Targets?

Share proven methods you’ve used to consistently hit

corporate general manager interview questions

General Manager Interview Questions and Answers

  • There are many great answers to the question “What do you think is the most important trait for a good manager to have?” Each one shows something different about how you run your business. Some important skills for managers to have are the ability to interact with others and communicate clearly, to build strong teams, to think creatively and be flexible, and to solve problems. Example Answer: It’s important for managers to know how to put together strong teams. By showing your employees the right way to do things, keeping them motivated, and helping them improve their skills, you can build a team that can handle any problem.
  • When hiring managers ask this question, they want to know three things about you: your positive traits and skills, your ability to develop and influence team members, and your self-awareness. Your answer should show all three of these things, along with a bit of modesty. Many of my former employees have told me that I pushed them to do their best and that my positive attitude helped them stay focused even when things got tough. To set a good example for my team, I also try to face all problems head-on and keep working hard on more work.
  • How do you deal with team members who aren’t doing their jobs? It can be hard to be a good manager when you don’t know whether to fire, train, or talk to an employee. As a general manager, you need to be able to talk to your employees about tough issues and use your judgment to decide if you need to train them more or hire someone else. Show the hiring manager that you have these skills by giving a real-life example. To make your answer more organized, use the STAR method. When I was general manager of Chipotle before, I hired someone who started underperforming right away, even compared to other new hires. Since they were a new worker, I thought it would be best to help them become better at their job rather than firing them. I set up a face-to-face meeting with the worker right away to talk about the problem. I used my talking and listening skills to figure out what their biggest problems and weak spots were, and then I gave them a way to make things better in the future. By keeping an eye on their progress and giving them constant feedback, I was able to boost their work until they were one of the most productive people on the team.
  • How do you reward your employees for doing a great job? It’s important to know how to reward your employees and get them to work hard. When it comes to specific employees, I praise those who do a good job in front of their coworkers. This not only encourages them to keep working hard, but it also shows the rest of the team how to do it. To get everyone on my team to work harder, I like to offer rewards like bonuses and time off.
  • When you do performance reviews on your employees, what metrics do you focus on the most? Performance reviews are a great way to help your employees and the team as a whole get better. Example Answer: First, I look at performance metrics that can be measured, like raw productivity and work quality. I also make sure to look over my employees’ work ethic, enthusiasm, and ability to work with others and give them advice.
  • The answers and techniques you give are all different. What are your methods for creating a positive work environment? But make sure that your answer stresses how important it is to have a good work environment. As long as we learn from our mistakes, the most important thing is to let all of your employees know that they are allowed to make them. I always tell my workers that I won’t punish them for mistakes as long as they learn from them and get better. This makes it so that workers are comfortable trying new things and sharing their thoughts.
  • As a leader, it’s important to see criticism as a chance to get better, not as something to be taken personally. How do you respond when employees complain? As an example, I take all complaints from employees very seriously and use them to improve myself. At the same time that it helps me grow as a leader, this shows all of my employees the kind of positive attitude they should have. I also make sure to make real changes when people criticize me. Its ultimately actions that really matter.
  • There isn’t a single right answer to this question, “What do you enjoy most about being a manager?” The hiring manager is just checking to see if you’re really interested in the job. Passionate leaders are good ones. Example Answer: I love working with people and putting together good teams. It’s really satisfying to work together to reach big goals and solve tough problems.
  • This question is meant to find out if leadership is a core part of your personality and not just a job title. What leadership roles do you hold outside of work? Answer: When I’m not working, I coach tennis for older people and lead youth groups at my church.
  • Who are some leaders that you look up to? If so, why? It doesn’t matter who you pick as an inspiration. But make sure to tell them what you value about their ability to make decisions and lead others. That will show what you value. Ryan Cohen, the founder of Chewy, is someone I really like. Others didn’t believe he could compete with Amazon, but he stuck to his vision. His hard work and ability to lead are things I want to be like.
  • Does anyone have a mentor? If so, what was the last problem you asked them to help you with? Everyone can learn and get better, no matter how smart or experienced they are. No matter how skilled you are, you can always learn new things and get better. People who work for you ask you this question to see if you know your limits and are honest about them. The correct answer is “yes,” I ask my friend for help with technical issues. I understand it pretty well, but I’m not an expert, and I’m always trying to get better at it.
  • How would you best describe your leadership style? The hiring manager doesn’t want a specific style as long as you can back it up with reasons and examples of your success. I’ve always had success with a bottom-up approach, which means I let my employees make decisions on their own and act creatively. When I was general manager at Jenny’s Crafts before, I made sure that my employees knew exactly how to do their jobs. In addition to that, I was only there to lead and guide. My employees were more productive at work and had a better attitude toward customers when I didn’t micromanage them.
  • How do you find and hire new employees? General managers need to know what to look for in potential employees because they are often in charge of building teams that work well together. Answer Example: I ask candidates a range of behavioral and situational questions to learn more about their character, experiences, and skills. The most important thing is to make sure they have the basic skills they need to do the job. Besides that, I also look for strong work ethic and “soft skills” like being able to work with others and communicate well.
  • Tell me about your method for delegating tasks among employees. In your answer, you need to show a range of leadership skills, such as how dedicated you are to getting to know each of your employees and their specialties and how good you are at communicating with them. Example Answer: The first thing I do for each task is use what I know about my team to figure out which members are best suited to do them. I look at my team and choose which employees’ skills are best for each job. This is the first thing I learn from talking to and working closely with my employees. Once I know which employee is best for the job, I talk to them about what needs to be done. I make sure they fully understand the task before I let them go. This way, I can clear up any confusion before it leads to mistakes.
  • Why do you think competition is important at work? If you’re not applying to a company that you know has a very competitive work culture, it’s best to give a balanced answer. Competition between teams should be kept to a reasonable level so that all employees can keep improving their skills. This is good for any workplace. With small bonuses and praise, I always try to encourage healthy competition among my workers. This motivates them to work harder and develop their skills. However, managers should try to keep the workplace from being too competitive. If it is, employees may start to hurt other people’s work to help themselves.
  • Tell me about a time when you led by example. One of the best ways for general managers to show and encourage good behavior in their employees is to lead by example. To make sure your answer makes sense, use the STAR method to organize it. When I became the general manager of a nearby Home Depot, I was told that the previous manager had a hard time keeping employees from being rude at work. I talked to the staff to find out why this was happening and learned that many of them didn’t like how the previous manager had treated them. I promised my team that I would treat them fairly, and I kept my word by always being honest and listening to all of their concerns. Within a month, employee misconduct dropped to nearly 0%. They told me that the main reason for this change in behavior was how I led by example and followed the best practices I had told them to follow.
  • Have you ever helped an employee or coworker get better? As a general manager, you need to show that you can do more than just lead teams. You also need to be able to build relationships with employees and help them become more productive. Example Answer: Yes, I helped a new worker who showed signs of being a leader when I was a general manager. I taught them how to be good leaders, talk to different kinds of people well, and think deeply about issues. From what I’ve heard, they’ve been a very good and useful manager for the company since taking over my job when I left.
  • Why do you want to be a general manager? This question gives you a chance to show how passionate you are about the job and how much experience you have as a general manager. Talk about why you were good at the job before or why you think you will be good at this new company. That’s why I want to be a general manager: I like coaching my coworkers and giving them advice that helps them reach their goals. I once saw that one of my coworkers was having trouble meeting her sales goal. I offered to help and talked about the things I had done to reach my own goals. Soon, she was asking me for help with things other than her job, and she was going over her allotted time. Since then, she has become a mentor for other employees and helps them do well in their jobs. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping other people get better, and I think that this improvement leads to growth in other areas as well. That’s why I want to use my skills and experience to lead my coworkers and help them reach their full potential.
  • What is your favorite thing about managing other people? This question is usually meant to help the employer understand how you lead. Talk about your communication, empathy, and conflict resolution skills in a way that shows how much you want the job. As someone who is diplomatic and caring, I’ve always found that I do best when I’m talking to other people. Because of this, I think my job as a manager has given me the tools to help everyone on my team reach their full potential. For this reason, I’m always happy to be fully responsible and accountable for the team because I know I can help us reach our goals in a good way. Getting the balance right between helping my team and leading them is something I really care about.
  • Are you willing to take risks? To avoid candidates who do so too much or who can’t explain how they make decisions. This is a red flag for hiring managers because a risky candidate could make the store less stable and less successful. Example Answer: No. A strong and organized way of making decisions is what I use most of the time at work because I think it helps my team a lot.

How to Prepare for a General Manager Interview

At first, the large number of possible General Manager interview questions may seem overwhelming. However, there are some good things you can do to get ready:

  • Write down specific examples of times you were a great leader, especially when things were stressful.
  • Do some research on the company ahead of time to get a sense of what its specific management needs are.
  • Show off your experience in your field that makes you smarter than most people, even if you don’t have management experience.
  • Read the job description and use it to help you find the best candidate. But don’t forget about candidates who are new to the job but have great leadership skills.
  • Make sure that the people you’re hiring know what their duties would be as a manager.
  • Give potential truck drivers an accurate timeline of the hiring process.

GENERAL MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers! (How To Become A GENERAL MANAGER)


Why should we hire you as a general manager?

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I’ve researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

What is a GM round interview?

General managers handle the day-to-day operations of an organisation. Through this question, interviewers want to know your preparedness for managing such responsibilities. Share why you feel confident in your leadership skills and give an example from your previous job.

What is a GM interview?

Updated April 17, 2024. Completing an interview is part of the process of getting a job as a general manager. During this process, the interviewer is likely to ask you questions about your background, skills, and work habits so they can determine whether you’re a good fit for the position.

What are the most common general management interview questions?

Here are some of the most common general management interview questions, along with example answers: 1. Why do you want to be a general manager? This question gives you the opportunity to show the interviewer that you’re passionate about becoming a general manager.

How do I prepare for a general manager interview?

Interviewing for a general manager role requires you to show your leadership skills and management style while letting interviewers see your personality. Preparing for the questions you’re likely to face in a general manager interview can help you communicate your abilities more effectively.

What questions should a general manager be asked?

You may be asked about resource allocation, process improvement, or crisis management. Situational questions often involve hypothetical scenarios to assess your problem-solving abilities and how you apply your knowledge to real-world business challenges. A General Manager must have a strong grasp of financial principles and strategic planning.

What is a general manager interview?

This resource is designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to excel in your interviews and position yourself as the standout choice for any General Manager position. General Manager interviews are designed to probe not only your managerial and operational expertise but also your leadership qualities and strategic vision.

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